New artificial reef deployed in Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Some local fish now have a new place to call home.

Wednesday morning the Bay County Artificial Reef Association deployed a retired hopper barge from Eastern Shipbuilding in the Gulf.

Bay County has a five-year agreement to work with the Artificial Reef Association to enhance fishing and diving opportunities locally.

Officials say this new reef will be great for our local fish population.

"Artificial reefs draw fish and make homes for fish. It's just like building a house that somebody can move into. They don't necessarily pull fish from other places, they make new fish habitats, so they increase the fish population," explained Clayton Syfrett, president of BCARA.

Bay County officials say the reef cost about $35,000 to deploy.